Stories about Noori

Behind every Superstar is the right director

 When I reviewed Mahira Khan’s last film, Verna, which according to me, had some next level blunders in terms of both content and performance, I was told,  “Whether you accept it or not, Mahira is a superstar of the Pakistani film industry; it doesn’t matter if her films don’t do very well at the box office, she’s a crowd-puller.” Today, when her film Superstar is all set to release and she’s playing the titular character in the film, these lines resonate in my mind. Will Mahira be able to showcase that zing and spark which Ehteshamuddin’s film Superstar requires? Will Bilal Ashraf be able ...

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A quick chat with the Superstar duo, Mahira Khan and Bilal Ashraf

With Eid just round the corner, Pakistani films are all set to entertain you over the long weekend and earn big at the box office. Superstar is one such movie which people haven’t been able to stop talking about.  I managed to catch the lead pair of the film for a quick chat, which included the queen of Pakistani cinema, Mahira Khan, and the six-pack hunk, Bilal Ashraf. They both shared some interesting facts about the film along with details of the hard work they invested in the entire process of completing this film, the concept of which started three to four years ...

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In conversation with the multifaceted Ali Zafar: “There is no better service than a Pakistani working in India the right way”

A global superstar at the moment, Ali Zafar is a man of all seasons. Not only is he multifaceted, having achieved success as a musician and an actor, but he also puts his heart and soul into everything he does. He has now made an incredibly successful Lollywood debut as well, as the producer and lead actor in this year’s Teefa in Trouble. In an exclusive interview, I learnt about Zafar’s current projects, Bollywood and marriage. You started singing at a very young age and have since established yourself as one of the leading contemporary singers in South Asia. What ...

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Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor proves Pakistan’s animated films can be as good as Disney’s or Pixar’s

The Pakistani industry is in full flourish, evidence of which can be gathered by the hype created after the trailer release of our newest animated feature, Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor. From the quality of animation and the quirky characters offered in this preview, this Urdu language animated film has all the ingredients to match the standards set by Disney and Pixar. The story revolves around a young boy, Allahyar, who lives in the northern areas of Pakistan. The spirited Allahyar’s life suddenly takes a turn and becomes adventurous as he tries to save his dearest ones from imminent ...

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Five songs that stole the show in Coke Studio season 9

It’s safe to say that Coke Studio season nine ended with a lot of hype, grandeur, and lavishness. Similar to its previous seasons, this season was a bag of mixed flavours. Some episodes were brilliant; some were ordinary, while others were below average. Therefore, with a total of seven episodes and 30 songs, here is my pick of the five best creations of the season. 5. Tu Kuja Man Kuja Finale Artist: Shiraz Uppal and Rafaqat Ali Khan Music Director: Shiraz Uppal Shiraz Uppal and Rafaqat Ali created a soulful kalam with a mesmerising chorus – that managed to win my heart. Usually a male duet with similar ...

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Coke Studio episode 4 has managed to grace perfection in its own way

I can’t believe the 4th episode is out already, and I can finally sense the season coming to full bloom with all its glory. Somehow the healthy competition between the music directors is working wonderfully for this season. Bringing in great diversity of genres, instruments and musicians – the composers have made sure this season stands out. The competition is not just among the peers, but also the umpteen good quality composers who didn’t make the cut this time and are waiting for their call next season. It’s great to see the market-forces at work here, ultimately benefiting the primary stakeholders – ...

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Are there too many cooks in Coke Studio’s broth?

It’s that time of the year again, when the most anticipated musical project of the country hits our screens and is seen dodging the pressure of incredulous expectations attached to it. Coke Studio is back with its ninth season and will stick around for the next two months – all the while retaining an essential chunk of our national narrative. People will love it, hate it, love to hate it, and hate to love it – but everyone agrees there’s nothing quite like Coke Studio. Here are my two cents on the first episode of the current season. 1. Sasu ...

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A tribute to remember

She was sitting outside when the sound first reached her ears. Her gnarly hands gripped the chair firmly. Staggering, she got up and walked towards the sound. The melody grew louder, different voices rising and falling. Melancholy gripped her. As a few minutes passed, the song reached its peak moments. And then the sound died abruptly. Puzzled, she hurried into the room. Her husband stood in the middle of the room, gripping the remote firmly. He glared at the television set with contempt. But Naghmana Bibi was not discouraged by his anger. She saw what others could not see. They saw his proud head, ...

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Noori awakens the music industry with ‘Begum Gul Bakaoli Sarfarosh’

Recently, the highly acclaimed Pakistani music band, Noori, held album preview sessions in Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi for the public on a first come basis. That was the first uncut and instrumental public performance of their upcoming new album, “Begum Gul Bakaoli Sarfarosh”. Being a Noori fan myself and having attended the album preview held in Lahore, I can safely say the band members, Ali Noor and Ali Hamza, have not given up on the music industry in Pakistan just yet. They made an attempt to bond with their loyal fan base and discussed the ideas and concepts behind the album in ...

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Karachi se Lahore: A one-man show of hilarity

Karachi Se Lahore is another comedy flick from the back to back line-up in Pakistani cinema. It is directed and produced by Wajahat Rauf and the screenplay was written by Yasir Hussain. The story kicks off with the introduction of Zaheem (Shahzad Sheikh) and Maryam (Ayesha Omar) who are neighbours constantly arguing and fighting on senseless issues. Zaheem is seen living alone in an apartment (no mention of his family) and is a banker at Habib Bank Limited (HBL) (too much branding, as expected) who is clearly not happy with his current situation. Being the lead in the film, his acting on the big ...

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